- Introduction to Clinical Research Training
- Medical Education
- Dean for Medical Education
- Financial Aid
- MD Programs
- Curriculum Services
- Program Evaluation and Student Assessment
- Student Handbook
- Student Services
- The Academy at Harvard Medical School
- Anatomical Gift Program
- Teaching Awards
- Contact Us
- United Kingdom Clinical Scholars Research Training
- Vanderbilt Hall
- Financial Aid
- Office of the Registrar
- Campus Planning and Facilities
- Ombuds Office
- Committee on Microbiological Safety
- Human Resources
- HMS Foundation Funds
- Office for Academic and Clinical Affairs
- Joint Committee on the Status of Women
- The Academy
- Global Health Research Core
- Global Clinical Scholars Research Training Program
- HMA Standing Committee on Animals
- Office of Research Compliance
- Global & Community Health
- Harvard Medical School Event Calendar
- Contact @HMS
- Office of Diversity RIA Program
- The Dean's Perspective
- Department of Pathology
- Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute
- OHRA Home
- Office of Research Subject Protection
- Tools and Technology
- Alumni Association
- Cancer Biology & Therapeutics Program
- Celiac Program
- Department of Medicine
- HMS Community Values Initiative
- HMS Information Technology
- HMS TransMed Program
- Introduction to the Practice of American Medicine
- Office of Communications & External Relations
- Office of Global Education
- Shenzhen-HMS Initiative in International Education
- South American Clinical Research Training
- test page
- Safety Quality Informatics and Leadership
- Human Resources
- Jobs @ HMS
- Contact us
- Dental Medicine
- Harvard University
The tapestry of history is woven from the threads of the lives of the men and women who lived it. Two centuries on, what we know best about the War of 1812 are its decisive naval battles and the shifts the war caused in the balance of global power.
As developments in the battles between the fledgling United States and Britain were unfolding, however, it was the small details that influenced the Americans’ ultimate success: the type of tree a ship was built from determined how well it could withstand cannon blasts; the speed with which a naval surgeon could amputate a mangled limb might determine whether a sailor lived to see his home port again.
To underscore the significance of early medical interventions, the USS Constitution Museum in Charlestown is currently featuring items from the Warren Anatomical Museum in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at HMS and its Naval Medicine and the War of 1812 exhibit.
The Constitution exhibit examines how the interplay between military, medical, technological, environmental and personal histories contributed to the crucial role the ship played in the rise of the young United States as a world power, also allowing a glimpse into what life was like for the sailors, marines and officers of the Constitution.
Two osteological preparations from the Warren collection include a fragment of a mandible from a British officer on the HMS Guerriere, and an exfoliation from the femur of one of the Constitution’s sailors, a man injured in a battle between the Constitution and the British frigate HMS Java off the coast of Brazil.
“At the USS Constitution Museum, we try to help visitors make a personal connection with the past,” said Matthew Brenckle, research historian at the museum.
“The sailors of 1812 lived and loved and experienced joy and sorrow just like us. The osteological specimens from the Warren Anatomical Museum illuminate the human story in a way that no other artifact can,” Brenckle said.
Both of the patients whose remains are on display were treated by the Constitution’s surgeon, Amos Evans. After his tour on the Constitution, Evans was stationed at the Marine Hospital in Boston. While there, he earned a degree from Harvard Medical School in 1814 and, in 1815, was named first surgeon of the Fleet.